10 Iconic Cantopop Songs Every True Local Should Hum Along

Cantopop Songs Ling App

Lost in the land of indie melodies and K-pop sensations, there’s a forgotten music treasure that once ruled the vibrant streets of Hong Kong. Back in the late twentieth century, when neon lights bathed the city in a kaleidoscope of colors, Cantopop songs were the true and undefeated rulers of the musical scope. Their infectious beats transcended borders, capturing the hearts of not only Hong Kongers but also music lovers in China, Japan, and the Cantonese-speaking corners of Southeast Asia.

During the time I lived in Hong Kong, a few years back, I found myself immersed in a tidal wave of Cantopop melodies. Whether I stepped into a café, visited a bustling store, or even went on a night out to one of the many discos spread across the city, these unmistakably famous tunes would be constantly reaching for my ears. Little by little, I couldn’t help but surrender to their contagious rhythm, gradually memorizing lyrics and… dare I say it, started to sing them!

Sadly, Cantopop has taken a few hits in recent years, with singers from other genres seizing the spotlight. However, in this article, we’re on a mission to resurrect the spirit of Cantopop and celebrate its undeniable charm. Even if you’re not a bona fide fan, get ready to unleash your vocal prowess as we present the top 10 classic Cantonese songs every true local should be able to hum, sing, and perhaps even dance along to!

10 Famous Cantopop Songs

Beyond - Boundless Oceans, Vast Skies

Beyond – Boundless Oceans, Vast Skies (海闊天空 – hai3 kuo4 tian1 kong1)

This rock anthem sung by Beyond is practically the unofficial anthem of every Cantopop lover. With its powerful guitar riffs and soaring vocals, it’ll make you want to break out your air guitar and sing your heart out.

While their famous hit “Glorious Years” (光輝歲月 – guang1 hui1 sui4 yue4) pays tribute to Nelson Mandela’s work against apartheid, this song celebrates his posterior release from prison. In a sad and tragic event, the leader of the band, Wong Ka-kui, passed away when the band was hitting its peak of fame, and this was the last song they ever made.

Anita Mui - Sunset Melody

Anita Mui – Sunset Melody (夕陽之歌 – xi1 yang2 zhi1 ge1)

Anita Mui, also known as the “Madonna of Asia,” is a famous Cantonese artist beloved all across Southeast Asia. “Sunset Melody” is a timeless Cantopop gem that effortlessly captures the essence of tranquility and longing. With each note, Mui’s enchanting vocals sweep you away to a peaceful shoreline, where the sun dips below the horizon, painting the sky in hues of gold and orange. The melody gracefully dances along, mirroring the gentle waves lapping at your feet.

“Sunset Melody” serves as a poignant reminder to embrace the beauty of fleeting moments and cherish the memories that linger long after the sun has set.

Sam Hui - Eiffel Tower Above the Clouds

Sam Hui – Eiffel Tower Above the Clouds (鐵塔凌雲 – tie3 ta3 ling2 yun2)

Sam Hui’s “Eiffel Tower Above the Clouds” (鐵塔凌雲 – tie3 ta3 ling2 yun2) is a whimsical and infectious tune that will transport you on a lyrical adventure. After spending a long time abroad, this Cantonese artist wrote this uplifting song to transmit the message that there is no place like home. He declares that not even the wonders of the Eiffel Tower, Mount Fuji, and the Statue of Liberty could compare to home.

Jacky Cheung -Loving You More Every Day

Jacky Cheung – Loving You More Every Day (每天愛你多一些 – mei3 tian1 ai4 ni3 duo1 yi1 xie1)

Jacky Cheung’s velvety voice and heartfelt lyrics make this Cantopop classic a must-know. It’s a love song that will make you swoon and may even inspire you to serenade your significant other with a little extra passion and cheesiness. 

Back in the 90s, Jacky was one of the most famous superstars in Hong Kong, and for a good reason! He sold over 25 million solo records in total, and this song stayed on the billboard for over 30 consecutive weeks!

Eason Chan - Time Flies

Eason Chan – Time Flies (陳奕迅 – chen2 yi4 xun4)

Eason Chan’s soulful crooning in this emotional track will make you ponder the fleeting nature of time. You’ll find yourself contemplating life’s mysteries while swaying along to the song’s melodic waves. Just remember, time flies, so don’t forget to enjoy the music and have a good laugh while you’re at it.

Faye Wong - Vulnerable Woman

Faye Wong – Vulnerable Woman (容易受傷的女人 – rong2 yi4 shou4 shang1 de nv3 ren2)

Faye Wong’s ethereal vocals in this hauntingly beautiful song will transport you to another realm. It’s a mesmerizing experience that offers up a drunken woman’s musings on the highs and lows of love. It will leave you feeling both enchanted and slightly spooked. Embrace your inner fragile woman (or man) and immerse yourself in this atmospheric masterpiece.

Alan Tam - Love Trap

Alan Tam – Love Trap (愛情陷阱 – ai4 qing2 xian4 jing3)

Alan Tam, a master of slow love ballads, was made famous with no other than a fast-paced hit. Love trap (愛情陷阱 – ai4 qing2 xian4 jing3) is a whimsical and animated track that approaches the topic of how love is a trap, including this famous Cantonese lyrics: “This trap, this trap, this trap—I have encountered it!” (這陷阱,這陷阱,這陷阱,偏我遇上! – zhe4 xian4 jing3, zhe4 xian4 jing3, zhe4 xian4 jing3, pian1 wo3 yu4 shang4!). This song will remind you to stay on guard and not fall into the traps of love too easily.

Kelly Chen - Lover's Concerto

Kelly Chen – Lover’s Concerto (情人協奏曲 – qing2 ren2 xie2 zou4 qu1)

Kelly Chen’s sweet and melodious rendition of this classic tune will make your heart skip a beat. It’s the perfect soundtrack for those romantic moments when you feel like dancing in the rain or chasing after your true love in slow motion (cue the cheesy rom-com montage).

Leslie Cheung - The Wind Blows On

Leslie Cheung – The Wind Blows On (風繼續吹 – feng1 ji4 xu4 chui1)

Leslie Cheung’s iconic voice carries an emotional depth that resonates in this timeless ballad. He was voted the third “Most Iconic Musician of All Time” in a poll held by CNN, and up until today, he is a singer every Cantonese-speaking person knows. As the wind blows on, let yourself be swept away by the melancholic melody and contemplate the ever-changing nature of life. Just remember to have a tissue handy, as this song might evoke a few sentimental tears.

Embrace The Music Side Of Cantonese With Ling App

Now that you’ve immersed yourself in the nostalgic world of Hong Kong’s music scene and discovered the magic of these many artists’ iconic songs, why not take your musical journey to the next level? Download the Ling app, the ultimate language-learning companion that will have you singing along in Cantonese like a true Hong Konger.

With Ling, you’ll enjoy a range of features designed to make language learning fun and engaging. Dive into interactive lessons that cover vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation, all reviewed by native speakers. 

So, don’t miss out on the chance to groove to the rhythm of Cantonese and unleash your inner Cantopop superstar – Ling app is just a tap away! Get ready to sing your heart out, Hong Kong-style, while mastering the language of the best Cantopop songs with Ling’s innovative features and lively community. Download Ling from App Store or Google Play today and let the language learning adventures begin!

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